TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) welcomes Dr. Rueben Devlin's report. Experience across the world has shown that physician-led systems that focus on integrated care provide better quality at lower cost, and that the role of physicians is crucial to health care transformation. We look forward to working with the Premier's Council and the Ford government to improve frontline services in the health care system.
Ontario's Doctors will always examine any plan to change the health care system through a lens that focuses on long-term benefits for patients.
- How would it improve patient care and health outcomes, and reduce wait times?
- Does it recognize the needs of rural, Northern and underserved communities and build flexibility into the system to meet these needs?
- Does it remove unnecessary administration and bureaucracy to enable more efficient and effective delivery of care?
Our focus is on frontline care, and making sure it works for the people of Ontario.
We support a system that invests in frontline care; prioritizes integration between family medicine, specialists, acute care, long-term care and community and home-based care networks; and leverages technology to better serve patients and their families. The OMA is encouraged that these types of solutions are the foundation of this government's priorities.
Hallway medicine is fueled by patients waiting for alternate care
A major contributor to hallway medicine are patients who are well enough to leave hospital but wait too long for transfer to long-term care beds or to get access to other services. The government's promise to increase availability of out-of-hospital care services will go a long way to freeing up these beds. Better coordination of these services through an increasingly coordinated and integrated system will help get patients the care they deserve in the appropriate place.
Advanced digital solutions will improve patient outcomes, enable expansion of telemedicine
Frontline doctors invest in bringing digital health systems into their practices. These tools have demonstrated that when developed alongside providers, e-solutions work to the advantage of both patients and doctors. Digital health tools and services measurably improve patient access and clinical information sharing across the delivery system.
OntarioMD, a subsidiary of the OMA, supports more than 15,000 physicians and 1,000 nurse practitioners across the province with access to and use of digital health tools, including the award-winning Health Report Manager which currently directly connects over 160 hospitals to over 9,500 community physicians. With a commitment from Government to expand and integrate digital health throughout the system, we can continue to co-develop solutions to enhance patient care. A more robust digital health system will support accessible, efficient and effective delivery of care to patients. Virtual visits have begun improving access for patients who live in rural, northern or underserviced communities.
Reinvesting in frontline care is the lynchpin to long-term success
The government is right to focus on eliminating administrative duplication in the system. To ensure success in the long term, savings should be reinvested in frontline services. We need to ensure there are enough doctors with the right skills in the right places to meet the needs of our growing and more complex patient population.
Healing the relationship between doctors and the government
A stable and mutually respectful relationship between government and doctors – who both have the health and wellbeing of the people of Ontario as their primary goal – will help create a competitive and welcoming climate that will allow Ontario to attract and retain new doctors, and incent those who are already practicing here to continue their work.
"This is a strong first step. Changes that are to be made to the health care system have to work for patients, and doctors know their patients best. Any changes made to the health care system have to work in the real world of your doctor's office and your local hospital. We – like the majority of Ontarians – strongly support the idea that savings realized from the health care budget should be reinvested directly into frontline services that patients desperately need."
- Dr. Nadia Alam, President, Ontario Medical Association
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association is a membership organization that represents the political, clinical and economic interests of doctors in Ontario. Our 41,000 members are practicing and retired doctors, residents and medical students.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
For further information: OMA Media Relations at 416.340.2862 or toll-free at 1.800.268.7215, ext. 2862, firstname.lastname@example.org, @OntariosDoctors